Lhasapoo: Get to Know a Hybrid Dog Breed

In a Lhasapoo, the noble pedigree of the Lhasa Apso gets doused in a bit of Miniature Poodle fun. Still, he might be a bit snooty around strangers.

Kelly Pulley  |  Jul 5th 2012


The Lhasapoo is a dog who can leap miniature buildings in a single bound, who has the strength of 100 hummingbirds and the speed of a very slow baby carriage. This cross between the Lhasa Apso and the Miniature Poodle may not be Superman, but he’s the best of the best in looking cute.

Now, looking cute is not as superficial nor as easy as you think. It’s a full-time job, and the pressure can get to a Lhasapoo just like the bright lights can get to a supermodel. And that’s what the Lhasapoo is — a supermodel dog, in more ways than one.

Every Thursday we’ll be profiling popular mix-up pups (also see: Morkie, Puggle, Labradoodle, Cockapoo, and Goldendoodle).

What Lhasapoos Are Like to Live With

Lhasapoos are not only super cute, they’re super clean, super smart, and super companions. These dogs are very adaptable as long as they’re with their owners. They tend to bond tightly with one person, but are definitely also part of the whole family. The Lhasapoo is very loving and loyal toward those he knows, and gets along with other pets. His size and calm demeanor make him an excellent apartment dog, though he does love to romp and play.

Lhasapoos apparently inherit the intelligence of the Poodle, and they are very easily trained. Sometimes, however, a Lhasapoo can be stubborn (perhaps they feel their royal blood gives them the right to disobey the commoners), but patient training can overcome this.

Things You Should Know About the Lhasapoo

Though this hybrid is adaptable to new situations with his human by his side, the Lhasapoo may be timid about things like being left at the groomer or doggie daycare. He may also be wary of strangers and can act snooty (yes, dogs can be snooty). The best way to handle his timidity and occasional antisocial tendencies is to start obedience training early. It’s also helpful to use desensitizing strategies, which will help him get used to new environments over time.

Lhasapoo History: Fast Facts

  • The Lhasa Apso is of Tibetan descent, originating around 4,000 years ago.
  • The Miniature Poodle was bred to be a performer, which explains the Lhasapoo’s innate knowledge of how to look super cute.
  • Poodle hybrids became popular in the 1990s, and the Lhasapoo is gaining in popularity.

The Look of the Lhasapoo

Some Lhasa Apsos have silky long fur that sweeps the ground — and a little bow keeping their bangs out of their faces. Others get a short haircut. The Lhasapoo sort of meets both looks halfway. His solid-colored or multicolored fur is most often short and wavy, though it can be straighter and a bit longer. The Lhasapoo is a well-proportioned dog with even features and a sturdy stance. He runs 10 to 20 pounds.

10 Cool Things You Might Not Know About Lhasapoos

  1. Many Lhasapoo owners give their dog the “Teddy Bear Trim,” which results in a dog so cute you need sunglasses.
  2. The Lhasapoo is hypoallergenic, which means he doesn’t shed, not that he doesn’t have allergies.
  3. The Lhasapoo’s ancestor, the Lhasa Apso, was thought to be a stopping place for Tibetan monks’ souls before they were reincarnated.
  4. The Lhasa Apso was also known as the Bearded Lion Dog — perhaps that’s why the Lhasapoo sometimes thinks he’s ferocious.
  5. The Miniature Poodle, the other ancestor of the Lhasapoo, performed with traveling circuses in the mid-to-late 19th century.
  6. Getting a Lhasapoo puppy is rather suspenseful. The dogs of this hybrid share similar looks, but there are variances, so you never know exactly what your Lhasapoo will look like.
  7. The “Lhasa” in Lhasapoo is a holy city in Tibet.
  8. Lhasapoos are very good at agility trials.
  9. Lhasapoos are not good at pulling carts.
  10. If you want a Lhasapoo, start your research now. Though they’re growing in popularity, they can be darn tough to find.

Dogster readers: Do you have a Lhasapoo in your life? Tell us what they’re like to live with in the comments!